April 1, 2011
Now That It’s April, Bring on the Showers
The steelhead fishing remains the primary target for anglers on local rivers and should continue for much of the month with the run being stalled due to conditions. With the cold nights and sunny days, much of the snow we received has gone directly into the ground rather than the river resulting in lower than normal water levels and now new significant push of fish. Still, there are fish scattered throughout the rivers without any certain concentration – cover a fair amount of water and look for fish in the deeper water near spawning gravel as they stage for their annual ritual.
With the bright sun we have experienced the fish have been a little shy so stealth and your first casts are the most important. The fish bite seems to be better once the sun gets up and warms up the water a degree or two – look for temps to be hovering right around 40 degrees in the Manistee, Betsie and Boardman. On the Manistee, a few walleye are just starting to be caught which is a harbinger of things to come. Once we get some tentatively forecast rain, things should really kick-off.
Eggs in pale color combinations and Oregon Cheese have been preferred with hex, black stones, caddis and steelhead buggers working for bugs. The lighter line has seemed to make the difference lately and fluorocarbon should make an appearance when the sun does. Look for a lot of this to change when we get an increase in water.
Being the first of April certain rivers and sections are open to fishing and this year there are some new sections added to the list. Check your MI-DNRE Fishing Regulations and be sure to get a new license which is required today. While it’s a little cold to be matching a hatch, some long rested brown trout should respond well to large streamers fished low and slow for some big trout. As the month continues and water temperatures increase look for the trout fishing to really kick off.